External screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by naujoks, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. naujoks macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #1
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I've finally managed to hook up my 30" screen to my MBA 11.6" via DisplayPort cable. And while it works well and the external screen shows the max 2560x... resolution, what I'd really like is the 30" showing my desktop as the only screen, ie I want the built in screen off.
    Is there any way to achieve this?
     
  2. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #2
    Yeah, if you turn on the macbook connected to the external display and quickly close the lid, it should continue to boot osx using the external display only and with the internal display off. Alternatively you can close the lid to make it sleep and then wake it up with an external keyboard/mouse and it should wake with the external display being the only display.
    Hope that helps! [​IMG]
     
  3. bamf macrumors 6502

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    Feb 14, 2008
    #3
    It's called ClamShell mode (running with the lid closed). I believe you'll need a USB device plugged into the machine to make this work though, so if you were planning on all bluetooth peripherals you may have some challenges.
     
  4. shootingstar64 macrumors regular

    shootingstar64

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    #4
    bluetooth works fine also, but you better be shure to turn on "allow bluetooth device to wakeup computer" within the bluetooth control panel.
     
  5. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #6
    Thanks, that's helpful.
    However, I'd still want to use the Air's keyboard and trackpad, which I obviously couldn't do in clamshell mode.
    I'll try the booting trick, but I'm a bit surprised that there isn't a more elegant solution for what I consider quite a common problem.
    Under Windows this is quite easily achieved, of course...
     
  6. dgdosen macrumors 65816

    dgdosen

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    #7
    What!? What connector are you using? Is your 30" monitor a cinema display?
     
  7. ootexasoo macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2010
    #8
    Just open up the lid after you use clamshell mode to get the monitor as your main screen. The macbook screen should still be off. Thats what I do so I can still use the trackpad.
     
  8. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #9
    No, it's the Dell 3008FWP, which fortunately also has a DisplayPort as one of its many connectivity options.
     
  9. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #10
    Ok, I just tried the "close it quickly during boot" trick.
    And for one minute it works: the internal screen remains blank, and the external screen displays my normal desktop. But then, without prompt, it reverts to switching on the internal display, showing the desktop, and the external showing the empty space. Hmmm. It's not working!
     
  10. ootexasoo macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2010
    #11
    What I do is turn on the macbook air, let everything load. Then close the lid which will put it into sleep mode. Then wake it up by moving the mouse and the monitor should pick it up with the display port. Then you can open the lid with the internal screen off. This is how it works for me.
     
  11. JesseW6889 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 12, 2010
    #12
    brightness

    how about just turning your brightness all the way down (f1 key)
     
  12. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #13
    Don't forget ... to use the clamshell mode, the notebook MUST be running on the power supply, not battery power!

    -howard
     
  13. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #14
    Hmmm I tried it again, just for good luck, and now it's working, although I didn't do anything differently.
    And I'm not connected to the charger!
    I'll see if in the future I'm more likely to end up the way I want it to be, or not.
    But for now happy, so thanks guys!
     
  14. mixvio macrumors 6502

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    Sydney, Australia
    #15
    Clamshell mode is tricky, and coming from a predominantly Windows background --- stupid. I mean even previous versions of OSX would allow you to shut off the "sleep when laptop is closed" that is on by default, and also allow you to use an external monitor.

    Anyway, the way I do it is to just close the laptop and let it fall asleep, then press a button on a keyboard or move the mouse while the power on the external monitor is on. If you're using a USB keyboard/mouse this works right away, if it's bluetooth make sure you've turned that option on under Bluetooth and then Advanced.

    I don't know how the Apple display works, but I had an HP monitor which had some bizarre power management that would disable the device when it detected the computer was off or disconnected -- which it constantly thought happened if I put my laptop to sleep. To get around this I had to shut the monitor off completely and only power it back on the split second I heard that the laptop was waking back up upon using the mouse/keyboard. I have a Dell monitor now which doesn't have that problem, but the point is you may have to fiddle and struggle with the timing a bit until you figure out how it works.

    Which is yet another reason why this should seriously just be a part of the operating system and not subject to strange games of reflex.

    I don't think it needs to be plugged in to use clamshell mode, but I usually am since the only place I use my external monitor is at my desk.
     
  15. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

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    #16
    It has to be plugged in. I accidentally knocked off the power cord once while in clamshell mode and the computer went to sleep. Would not turn on after moving the mouse. Plugged the power back in, and the computer woke up after moving the mouse.
     
  16. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #17
    No, it doesn't. I achieved it all on battery power several times today.
    But as the poster above said, it all depends on ifs and hows and whens, which is silly.
     
  17. ericssan macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2010
    #18
    I'm observing loud fan noise when I lift the lip of my MBA 11" in clamshell mode. Is this normal?
     
  18. hfg, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #19
    Here is Apples take on how to do clamshell:

    Apple Portables: How to use your computer in closed clamshell (display closed) mode with an external display

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3131

    If you are using a wired keyboard and mouse:
    Make sure the computer is plugged in to an outlet using the AC power adapter.

    If you are using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse on a Bluetooth enabled Apple portable:
    Make sure the computer is plugged in to an outlet using the AC power adapter.


    This might be useful for those wishing to use the notebook keyboard/trackpad:
    Additional Information
    If you open the lid of your supported Apple portable computer while in closed clamshell mode you may notice it appears to have no video. This is expected behavior. When your computer is in closed clamshell mode the built-in display is disabled and all video memory is allocated to the external display for best performance.

    To reactivate your built-in display, sleep the computer and then wake it, or use the Detect Displays button in the Displays preferences. You can also use the key combination Command+F1 as discussed in MacBook (Late 2007) and later, MacBook Pro (Early 2008) and later, and MacBook Air: Key placement and functionality.


    -howard
     
  19. mixvio macrumors 6502

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    Apr 12, 2009
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    Sydney, Australia
    #20
    It definitely doesn't need a power connection once clamshell mode has been activated. You might need one to get it into that, although I don't think you do. But I've unplugged my laptop while it was using an external monitor and closed many times and my laptop never slept. If yours did it meant that the monitor was shut off too.

    One other thing to remember is that if you're in clamshell mode you can open the laptop's lid and the internal screen won't turn back on. I found it was helpful to do this if I was gaming on my 13" and 15" MBPs, since the machine cooled itself through the keyboard. I haven't felt that the MBA gets hot enough that it's necessary to do that too, but it's worth remembering.

    Just make sure that if you happen to turn the external monitor off (like if you're going to bed and want to save power), shut the laptop before you turn it back on. Otherwise when you turn the monitor on, it will kick the laptop out of clamshell mode.
     
  20. mixvio macrumors 6502

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    #21
    If the machine is/has been under heavy load and kicks the fans in to cool off, yeah. Flat on a desk the exhaust doesn't seem too loud but if you tilt the laptop any it sounds like a freight train. If I recall correctly it's something to do with the size of the vents and the the ones on the 11 and 13" Airs are smaller than the MPBs, which makes the fan exhaust sound louder.

    If your laptop runs with the fans on perpetual 6000 RPM when it's idle and not doing anything then that doesn't sound normal.
     
  21. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Jan 28, 2009
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    Quebec, Canada
    #22
    Why ? Use both screens to maximise your real-estate. You can throw stuff like your music/IM clients on the second screen so your main screen is reserved for your current task.
     
  22. naujoks thread starter macrumors 6502

    naujoks

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    #23
    Because I'm constantly switching between tasks. It also takes ages to move one window from one screen into the next one. And on a 30" screen I have space for everything I need.
     

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